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Liberals: Myths, Biases, and Bigotry

  

It is important to understand liberal perceptions, both of themselves and conservatives; it is also then important to counter those perceptions, along with their myths, fantasies, and assorted bigotries. 

In general, liberals enjoy, as they see it, prestige status.  They are enlightened and sophisticated, worldly and knowledgeable, among a select group that enjoys the finer things of life; they are the avant garde and the elite.  As cultivated individuals, it follows that one would naturally be a liberal, as a matter of course and almost by definition.  It is often difficult for a liberal to imagine that a well traveled and well read individual, intelligent, glib, refined, modern, and so forth, could be anything but a liberal.  (This, by the way, is one of the reasons - among many - that William Buckley was so effective as conservative stalwart, for how could anyone doubt his obvious learning and sophistication.)  It is axiomatic and inevitable, as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.  In liberal circles (newsrooms, the media, the academy, Hollywood) and regions (urban centers, the coasts), surrounded by like-minded people, insulated from the great unwashed (in the hinterlands, in rural America and small towns, and elsewhere) and rarely exposed to divergent views, they assume the correctness of their views and the self-evident nature of their beliefs.

To the self regarding "enlightened" liberal, then, the conservative is the antipode of oneself; he is everything a liberal is not.  He is an oaf, a Luddite, a neanderthal, a numb skull.  Conservatives are hayseeds, hicks, right wing nuts, Christian extremists (although murderous Muslim extremists are somehow seen sympathetically), evangelical screw balls, Jesus freaks, reactionaries, gun nuts, flat earthers (now birthers), fundamentalist maniacs, and, of course, much worse.  Conservatives are moral reprobates, repugnant and distasteful; they are racist, sexist, xenophobes; they are anti-Hispanic, homophobic, imperialist, war mongering bigots.  They are not uncommonly referred to as Klansman, white supremacists, and, of course, the ever reliable N-word, Nazis.  They are reprehensible and odious.  Even detestable. 

If one happens to be all the things that liberals admire (worldly, cultured, intelligent, say), yet inexplicably a conservative, liberals will simply reject it.  You can't be a conservative! they will think or say despite your protestations.  And so in this way protect themselves and their paradigms, preserve the alternative universe they have cultivated in which their views and opinions are never questioned, their assumptions and beliefs confirmed by others around them, as they carefully cherry pick their associates, friends, and facts to support their contentions. 

Liberalism really does take the form of a theology in many ways, a secular religious belief system (for individuals who tend to be non-believers, in general, and, who, more than likely, look down upon those who are) that is cleaved to with the conviction of any evangelical to his faith.  The disasters their policies, values, and philosophy, however well intended, have visited upon certain communities, society, and the nation (The "New Deal," "Great Society," entitlements, "permissiveness," open lifestyles, "affordable housing," CAFE, the anti-Vietnam debacle, and, coming soon, National Health Care, Cap and Trade, card check unionization, and open border Amnesty), will go unheeded, glossed over as minor quibbles in comparison to the majesty of their vision, their compassion, their utopian fantasies, and most importantly, their noble intentions. 

It is, after all, their high-mindedness that matters, their notions of what could have been or should be, not results, not something so vulgar as actual outcomes.  Liberals, of course, dwell in the realm of the virtuous and charitable, not the loutish and prickly world of reality.  And besides why shatter such flattering illusions?

Liberals are, in general, animated by a number of core principles, to which they adhere fervently, and which go to explain their habits, attitudes, and, when ensconced in positions of power, policies. 

Many liberals believe in, if not the inherent evil of (and many do, in fact, believe in the profound wickedness of America), at least in the very serious shortcomings of their nation, significant moral deficits, as they see them, to which they cast a severe and jaundiced eye; they are also often unwilling to acknowledge diligent efforts made by the nation to address such deficiencies ("race," of course, would top the list here), and often use prior injustices as a pointy dagger to continually dig at the country, despite clear and obvious progress made.  They are, in brief, miserly (to say the least), in their good opinion of their nation, and, more often, quite caustic and suspicious (particularly when led by Republicans). 

They would generally count themselves among the "blame America first" crowd and proud of it, feeling a certain moral elevation at the disdain for which they hold their nation.  They are quick to indict their country for much of what is wrong in the world, and so are frequently riven with an unbecoming anti-Americanism, even at times of war as one could readily observe during the recent Iraq campaign in which liberals struggled ardently to undermine their nation's efforts.  (And, yes, in addition, in case you didn't know, the US is also responsible for "global warming," world poverty, the radicalization of the Muslim world, inclement weather, natural disasters, and so on).

This is now a permanent feature of the left, forged as it was in the anti-War crucible of the Vietnam era, as much of modern liberalism was; this, a time (as they see it) when the nation embroiled itself in an unjust war for nefarious reasons, intervening in what they believe was a war of national liberation, a civil war between two morally equivalent sides (or, often, even taking the side of Comrade Ho), on top of which it lied, engaged in unmerited espionage and assassination, and was responsible for the deaths of countless innocents, a period of national disgrace and shame to which they, the left, heroically rebelled and ultimately succeeded in thwarting, according to their narrative.  That their actions in ending American involvement in Vietnam led to the loss of South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to genocidal communist regimes and the annihilation of millions is glossed over, or, typically and conveniently (and incorrectly, for the blame lies squarely in their corner), blamed on the US. 

It matters not that most of the wars of the 20th century were fought by Democrats, when Democrats, indeed, upheld the honor and security of their nation far more vigilantly than Republicans (i.e. FDR, Truman, JFK, and, perhaps, Johnson); this now though seems as a distant, flickering light in the historical horizon.  Emerging from that turbulent era (the Vietnam War), a time they consider their moment of glory, modern liberals tend to be hopelessly weak on national defense; they often perceive the military in negative, if not derogatory terms, and soldiers as uneducated, bumpkins from the mid sections of the country with few options in life, hence choosing the military for want of anything else to do (think of the comments of JF Kerry and other prominent Dems during the Iraq campaign); the military is seen more generously when engaged in "social action" around the world (perhaps the Bosnia action under Clinton would pass muster by their lights, or, if the military would commit to some project in Africa, say the Sudan, or assisting in building clinics in AIDs ravaged nations), but never anything so narrow and self-serving as defending the national interest.  Deep down, despite superficial protestations about "supporting the troops" and other such hokum, many hard left liberals despise the military as the hard power arm of, as they see it, a corrupt and oppressive regime (the US) (think of Obama's prior associations, Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, etc). 

They obsess also over inequality, seemingly oblivious to the workings of free societies and the free market and the unhappy reality that despite equal opportunities, individuals will not share evenly in distribution of talent, initiative, and determination, hard work and persistence; nor are family backgrounds identical, and this, too, is not insignificant.  Individuals do not make equivalent choices, nor, in general, conduct themselves equally in life.  But no matter.  For the liberal, if there is inequality of income then it is a result of the evil workings of capitalism and/or evidence of the intrinsic racism/sexism of society; furthermore, there is a government need and answer to every such perceived deficiency. 

Liberals hold to a simplistic but unified hypothesis.  It is that business, corporations, capitalists, and capitalism, in general, are bad; that the poor are good (along with certain select "oppressed" minorities, which include blacks, hispanics, women, and gays); and, finally, and, perhaps, most critically, that government is the white knight needed to rectify and punish. 

That capitalism has created unparalleled prosperity for our citizens is ignored; that many of the poor may be shiftless, unemployable, or have made bad choices in life, does not matter.  That some may be poor for good reason is a notion the left abhors ("blaming the victim").  That government is so often behind the many calamities befalling the nation is never considered (see above and elsewhere regarding the New Deal, CAFE, Great Society, Fannie and Freddie, etc).  

The other key principle to which they hew is that the nation suffers from an unpardonable "original" sin from which it can never be redeemed, that being the sin of slavery.  Later, it was segregation.  And now and always, it is racism.  That slavery has existed throughout the world and throughout history, including in certain Moslem nations even today (Sudan, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, and others) does not matter.  Ours was worst.  That we fought a Civil War, ended segregation, enacted civil rights legislation, and have made astonishing progress in race relations with myriad examples of black success in the nation including black mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, and a President, is of passing note.  That we have black doctors, lawyers, architects, professors, businessmen, actors, athletes, and billionaires is immaterial.  That, in addition, many other non-white minorities have achieved great success in America, in particular the many Asian nationalities represented here, from all around the Asian continent, from India, China, Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, and many others, not to mention the many successful blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Moslems, and Arabs residing here, is inconsequential.  The nation is damned and must undergo ritual acts of purification, including diversity policies, racial gerrymandering, quotas and other noxious affirmative action strategies, massive wealth transfers, sensitivity training, set asides, and periodic groveling for ongoing infractions and to correct the injustices of the past. 

That no one of any color living today ever owned a slave or is likely to have ever discriminated against "people of color," or that they or their ancestors came to the country well after the Civil War was fought, is beside the point.  As non-minorities, they are guilty and so must atone, as must the country at large.  That there is a vast canon of laws and statutes on the books to protect minorities and a legal/enforcement/media/political infrastructure in place that would render racist discrimination foolhardy as well as illegal and immoral is irrelevant.  

From such thinking has come multiculturalism and political correctness (PC), a balkanizing of the nation into racial, gender, and ethnic groups, each entitled to special treatment, instead of a nation of individuals bound by a common American creed based on individual liberty and personal responsibility.  

PC, furthermore, has successfully commandeered the language so that certain topics such as family disintegration within the black community (as a result of failed liberal social policies) or necessary immigration reform that reflects the national interest and opposes amnesty are off limits; to speak of them is to repeat the unpardonable (the sin, of course, of racism/xenophobism). In this way, then, do liberals cordon off vital areas from necessary debate, thereby perpetuating the pathologies and ensuring that various constituencies continue voting a particular way, often, quite frankly, to their detriment. 

And, by the way, if you want to encounter true bigotry, ask a liberal, preferably someone who has probably never met such an individual, what he thinks of conservative, evangelical Christians.  You will experience most likely an explosion of slander and invective that, had the subject been a member of a racial minority, one would have every right to consider the individual a hard core racist, guilty of the most venomous hate.  

You will hear of conspiracies to impose a Christian Taliban-like state, an emerging theocracy that will take away your rights and impose, I take it, some form of Christian-sharia law in which other faiths are banned and atheists and agnostics, along with their books and writings, burned at the stake, or some such absurdity.  Yet, the anti-Christian prejudice of so many on the left, towards people they have never met, is seen by them as reasonable and balanced, so readily are they willing to accept their own categorical bigotry. 

The one true persecuted minority in this country today is, in fact, the white conservative evangelical.  Conservatives should defend them as I do whenever I can and before many of my co-religionists (generally of the liberal persuasion) and other liberals as I encounter them.  

I should say further that the many evangelicals I have met have been intelligent, well intended, and very generous.  They are often strong advocates of Israel and the Jewish people in general.  They visit Israel and support it with their tourist dollars and by holding their representatives' feet to the fire in regards to matters pertaining to Israel. Overall, I believe there are a greater percentage of conservative Christians supporting Israel than Jews (many of whom, sadly, rank as Israel's greatest defamers), and that, quite frankly, is a damn shame.  

Evangelicals are people who want many of the same things liberals want: to have good schools, safe neighborhoods, and to clean up the public discourse and popular culture.  There will inevitably be disagreements over such contentious issues as abortion, gay marriage, and separation of church and state issues, but the liberal may be surprised to find how much they would actually agree with Christians, if they would but maintain an open mind.  

But I wouldn't hold my breath.

As I said, the one truly persecuted minority left in the country is the evangelical Christians.  I count them as my friends.  

I think that when a liberal meets a conservative who is learned, cultured, well traveled, and, say, nuanced (a favorite liberal quality), it probably baffles them for it undermines their deepest convictions about what a conservative is.  It stands to reason that a conservative must believe in conservative principles and, if in power, govern as such (unlike the deeply flawed George Bush). 

Conservatives must, of course, believe in the conservative, constitutional values of limited government, low taxes, individual liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values (chief of which are marriage and family as the indispensable institutions of a healthy, prosperous society), strong defense, and the free market.  A conservative believes in hard work, discipline, initiative, and balanced budgets, both in one's personal life and in the government. 

A conservative believes in capitalism and understands that without economic freedom there is no political freedom for how can one truly be free (that is, free to question the government and to make autonomous decisions) if dependent on the government.  And if most citizens are receiving from the government than it stands to reason that society will be less free; government will also necessarily be more authoritarian and intrusive, and steadily encroaching on individual liberty as it consumes more and more of the nation's resources. 

Conservatives believe in risk and consequences for decisions and actions, for how else can individuals discipline themselves and be made to exercise proper caution and diligence without paying a price or reaping the benefits of actions or decisions taken.  Conservatives understand that there will be differences in outcome but do not believe that the poor are helped by destroying the rich. 

Conservatives believe in justice and mercy but both are needed, not one or the other.  For with only mercy, society will become unbalanced and feeble, leaning too heavily in the direction of indulgence and pity, excusing everyone and everything (which can, itself, be debilitating), and imposing great burdens on what remains of a shrinking productive sector.  It is, in a word, the road to impoverishment and dependency.  

Conservatives believe in the sanctity of the individual and the God-given spark within each of us, to achieve one's dream; they believe, in other words, in the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so eloquently described by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, but, on the other hand, do not believe in the necessary equality of outcomes. 

Conservatives believe in the redeeming virtue of self help and personal achievement.  They believe in "ordered liberty," and in the "vigorous virtues" (wonderful Thatcherisms) of initiative, creativity, hard work, and discipline.  They believe in "enlightened self interest," in private enterprise and the profit motive as the single greatest engine of human progress and prosperity known to man.  They also believe in the Constitution as the working, practical embodiment of these very same ideals.  

But, along with all this, indeed let us find conservatives in the Buckley mold, suave, sophisticated, worldly, knowledgeable in any number of fields and disciplines, connoisseurs of wine, cuisine, music, and art, glib and eloquent, and able to articulate concepts and ideas cleverly, humorously, and convincingly, the better to discombobulate the left and undermine the orthodoxies and false verities to which it solemnly swears. 

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